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Non-GMO Foods: U.S. Market Perspective


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Non-GMO Foods: U.S. Market Perspective

One of the biggest consumer concerns in the food industry today is whether or not foods made using ingredients from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are safe for human consumption. Related to this controversy is the issue of whether GMO crops are safe for the environment. In addition, advocacy groups are concerned that a few international conglomerates, through their ownership of GMO technology, can gain or consolidate excessive dominance of the global food supply.

There is widespread agreement within the scientific community that GMOs pose no threat to the environment or human health. Nevertheless, there is a broad base of concern among advocacy groups about GMOs, a concern driven in part by fear of unknown ramifications. 
  
Packaged Facts’ report Non-GMO Foods: U.S. Market Perspective looks at the positive and negative data about GMOs; the body of opinion on the topic; the regulatory environment for GMOs; the stakeholders in the controversy; market size and projections for non-GMO products; and marketing and new product trends. The report also delves into the current initiatives at the federal and state level to create mandatory GMO labeling of food and beverages that contain ingredients from genetically modified sources.


Scope and Methodology

Packaged Facts’ report Non-GMO Foods: U.S. Market Perspective covers the market for non-GMO products sold through all types of retail outlets.  Market estimates within this report were based on both public and syndicated data sources. Packaged Facts has analyzed available sales and trend data, together with information pertaining to those products that move through unmonitored outlets, to estimate the total non-GMO market size.

Data sources used and/or consulted for market, sales, and consumer estimates include:

  • IRI sales tracking through U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores, drugstores, and mass merchandisers (including Target and Kmart, but excluding Walmart) with annual sales of $2 million or more.
  • U.S. Census Bureau retail food sales data from the Economic Census surveys, annual retail channel sales, non-employer statistics.
  • U.S. Bureau of Economic analysis annual estimates for consumer spending by food type
  • The Experian Marketing Services (Experian Information Solutions, Inc.), Winter 2013 NCS Adult Study 12-month
  • Major food and beverage retailer annual reports for individual retailer sales
Non-GMO Foods: U.S. Market Perspective also draws on a proprietary Packaged Facts National Consumer Survey, conducted in June 2013 with a sample size of 2,000 U.S. adults age 18+. The sample composition is representative of the national population by gender, age bracket, geographic region, race/ethnicity, household income bracket, and presence of children in the household.

Information on new product introductions was derived from examination of the retail milieu and from relevant trade, business, and government sources, including company literature and annual reports.


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope and Methodology of the Report
      • Scope
      • Definition
      • Mandatory and Voluntary Labeling Issues
      • Methodology
    • GMO Context and Issues
      • Heated Controversy Surrounds GMO
      • Examples of GMO Plants
      • Presence of GMO in U.S. Food Products
      • The Regulatory Environment
      • Labeling for GMO Products
      • The Public Relations War
    • Benefits and Dangers of GMO
      • Pro-GMO Side Emphasizes Safety and Benefits
      • Anti-GMO Side Not Satisfied
      • Conflict Shifts to Labeling Issue
    • Stakeholders in the GMO Controversy
    • The Regulatory Environment
    • GMO in the Marketplace
    • Product Trends and Developments
    • Consumer Attitudes and Behavior
    • Market Forecast
      • Table Varying Sales Projections for Non-GMO Foods and Beverages, 2017 (in billions of dollars)
  • Executive Summary
    • Scope of the Report
      • Definition of Non-GMO
    • Period of Great Promise for Non-GMO Food and Beverage Products
      • Demand May Not Be Solid
      • Growth of GMO Crops Impacts Non-GMO Foods Growth
    • Market for Non-GMO Foods Estimated at $400 Billion
      • Table Global Retail Sales of Non-GMO Foods and Beverages, 2012-2017 (in billions of U.S. dollars)
    • Methodology of the Report
  • GMO-Context and Issues
    • Key Points
    • Heated Controversy Surrounds GMO
      • Why the Controversy?
    • What Are GMOs?
    • History and Development
      • GMOs a Continuation of Agricultural Development
      • Development of Genetic Theory
      • Current Controversies Date Back to First GMO Product
    • Examples of GMO Plants
    • Presence of GMO in U.S. Food Products
    • The Regulatory Environment
      • GMO Self-Regulation
      • Labeling for GMO Products
      • Certified Organic Labeling
    • The Public Relations War
    • Political Element to GMO Opposition
      • What Would GMO Labels Look Like?
    • The Bottom Line: Are GMOs Safe?
  • Benefits and Dangers of GMO
    • Key Points
    • Countering the Anti-GMO Arguments
    • The Plus Side of GMOs
    • Potential Dangers of GMO
      • Limited Hard Evidence on Anti-GMO Side
      • Animal-Based Studies Raise Questions
      • Involvement of GMO Companies in Research
      • Refuting Pro-GMO Arguments
      • Rejection of Increased Crop Yield Position
      • Questioning Environmental Safety
    • GMO Labeling: For and Against
      • The Campaign for Mandatory GMO Labeling
      • The Case Against GMO Labeling
      • Voluntary Non-GMO Labeling Echoes BST-Free Labeling
  • The Stakeholders
    • Key Points
    • Broad Range of Stakeholders Involved in GMO/Non-GMO Issues
    • U.S. Government Agencies
      • Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov)
      • Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov)
      • U.S. Department of Agriculture (www.usda.gov)
    • International Organizations
      • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (www.fao.org)
    • State Legislatures/Propositions
      • California's Proposition 37
      • Non-GMO Strategy
    • Food and Ingredient Manufacturers
      • GMO Food and Ingredient Companies
      • Anti-GMO Food and Ingredient Companies
    • Food Retailers
      • Whole Foods (www.wholefoodsmarket.com)
      • Trader Joe's (www.traderjoes.com)
      • Walmart (www.walmart.com)
    • Pro-GMO Organizations and Associations
      • Focus on Labeling Issue
    • Organizations and Associations Questioning GMO
      • Center for Food Safety (www.centerforfoodsafety.org)
      • Consumers Union (http://consumersunion.org)
      • Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org)
      • Just Label It! (http://justlabelit.org)
      • Natural Products Association
      • Non-GMO Project (www.nongmoproject.org)
      • Organic Trade Association (www.ota.com)
  • The Regulatory Environment
    • Key Points
    • The U.S. Regulatory Environment in the Global Context
      • Change on Horizon for UK?
    • Federal Regulation of GMOs
      • No Change in GMO Regulation Anticipated
      • USDA's Fast Track GMO Crops
      • Pressure Building for GMO Labeling
    • FDA's Traditional Position
      • GMO Stakeholders Consider Shift
      • Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act
      • GMO Labeling Amendment to Farm Bill
    • Courts Put Pressure on FDA to Act
      • Judicial Dissent
      • FDA and USDA Accept Non-GMO Project Verifications
    • Regulatory Action at the State Level
      • California's Proposition 37
      • Connecticut's Regional Plan
      • Maine Quickly Follows Connecticut
      • Status of Other Northeastern State Initiatives
        • Table GMO Labeling Bills Pending in Northeastern States
      • Washington State Expected to be Next Major Battleground
      • Other State GMO Labeling Initiatives
  • GMO in the Marketplace
    • Key Points
    • Packaged Facts National Consumer Survey
    • Discounters Account for 30% of Non-GMO Sales
      • Table Share of Sales of Non-GMO Labeled Foods and Beverages by Retail Channel, 2013 (percentage share)
    • Non-GMO Consumers Are Exceptionally Likely to Shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's
      • Table Preferred Mainstream/Mass Grocery Channels Among Consumers Worried About GMOs vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
      • Table Preferred Natural Foods Grocery Channels Among Consumers Worried About GMOs vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
      • Table Preferred Specialty/Independent Grocery Channels Among Consumers Worried About GMOs vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
      • Table Preferred Mainstream/Mass Grocery Channels Among Consumers Who Buy Non-GMO Labeled Products vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
      • Table Preferred Natural Foods Grocery Channels Among Consumers Who Buy Non-GMO Labeled Products vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
      • Table Preferred Specialty/Independent Grocery Channels Among Consumers Who Buy Non-GMO Labeled Products vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
      • Table Preferred Mainstream/Mass Grocery Channels Among Consumers Who Buy Organic Groceries to Avoid GMOs vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
      • Table Preferred Natural Foods Grocery Channels Among Consumers Who Buy Organic Groceries to Avoid GMOs vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
      • Table Preferred Specialty/Independent Grocery Channels Among Consumers Who Buy Organic Groceries to Avoid GMOs vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
    • Non-GMO Consumers Prefer Grocery Stores That Provide Organic and Locally Sourced Products
      • Table Grocery Products Most Important to Consumers Worried About GMOs vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
      • Table Grocery Products Most Important to Consumers Who Buy Non-GMO Labeled Products vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
      • Table Grocery Products Most Important to Consumers Who Buy Organic to Avoid GMOs vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
    • GMO Consumers Are Mindful Shoppers
      • Table Shopping Attitudes and Behaviors of GMO Consumers vs. Total Population, June 2013 (percent of U.S. consumers)
    • Whole Foods a Trailblazer in Retailer Transparency
    • Chipotle Pioneers GMO Disclosure for Restaurants
  • Product Trends and Developments
    • Key Points
    • Methodology
    • Product Launches Increase by 9% Annually
      • Table Share of Non-GMO Labeled New Product Introductions by Year, 2009-2013 (percent of new products)
    • Leading Product Categories Range from Nuts to Soup
      • Salty Snacks
      • Snack Bars & Confectionery
      • Meals, Entrees, &Side Dishes
      • Condiments & Ingredients
      • Juice & Juice Drinks
      • Kids
      • Dairycase
      • Bakery
      • Fruits & Vegetables
      • Breakfast
      • Meat & Meat Substitutes
    • Salty Snacks, Snack Bars Account for 30% of New Non-GMO Products
      • Table Share of Non-GMO Labeled New Product Introductions by Category, 2009-2013 (percent of new products)
    • Gluten-Free, Natural, Organic Among Top Claims With Non-GMO
    • Superfruits, Coconut, Ancient Grains Among the Leading Ingredient Trends
    • New Non-GMO Products and Verification Status
      • Table Selected New Non-GMO Labeled Food and Beverage Products: Salty Snacks, 2011-2013
      • Table Selected New Non-GMO Labeled Food and Beverage Products: Snack Bars & Confectionery, 2011-2013
      • Table Selected New Non-GMO Labeled Food and Beverage Products: Meals, Entrees, &Side Dishes, 2011-2013
      • Table Selected New Non-GMO Labeled Food and Beverage Products: Condiments & Ingredients, 2011-2013
      • Table Selected New Non-GMO Labeled Food and Beverage Products: Juice & Juice Drinks, 2011-2013
      • Table Selected New Non-GMO Labeled Food and Beverage Products: Kids, 2011-2013
      • Table Selected New Non-GMO Labeled Food and Beverage Products: Dairycase, 2011-2013
      • Table Selected New Non-GMO Labeled Food and Beverage Products: Bakery, 2011-2013
      • Table Selected New Non-GMO Labeled Food and Beverage Products: Breakfast, 2011-2013
      • Table Selected New Non-GMO Labeled Food and Beverage Products: Meat & Meat Substitutes, 2011-2013
  • Consumer Attitudes and Behavior
    • Key Points
    • Packaged Facts National Consumer Survey
    • Nearly Half of Consumers Express GMO Concerns
      • Table Concern About GMO Food Products, June 2013 (percent of consumers)
      • Urban Mothers of Young Children Are Most Concerned
        • Table Relative Degree of Concern About GMO Food Products by Demographic Classification, June 2013 (percent of consumers)
        • Table Relative Degree of Concern About GMO Food Products by Demographic Segment, June 2013 (percent of consumers)
    • Non-GMO Labeling Not Of High Importance
      • Table Importance of Non-GMO Labeling on Grocery Purchases, June 2013 (percent of consumers)
      • Contrasts by Age and Geographical Area Are Significant
        • Table Relative Propensity to Buy Groceries Labeled Non-GMO by Demographic Classification, June 2013 (percent of consumers)
        • Table Relative Propensity to Buy Groceries Labeled Non-GMO by Demographic Segment, June 2013 (percent of consumers)
    • Organic Products an Avenue to GMO Foods
      • Table Tendency to Purchase Organic Groceries to Avoid GMOs, June 2013 (percent of consumers)
      • GMO a Factor for All Organic Food Buyers
        • Table Propensity to Buy Organic Foods and Beverages, June 2013 (percent of consumers)
      • Demographics in Buying Organic Mirror Non-GMO Labeling Contrasts
        • Table Relative Propensity to Purchase Organic Groceries to Avoid GMOs by Demographic Classification, June 2013 (percent of consumers)
        • Table Relative Propensity to Purchase Organic Groceries to Avoid GMOs by Demographic Segment, June 2013 (percent of consumers)
  • Market Forecast
    • Key Points
    • Components of the Non-GMO Food and Beverage Market
      • Definition of "Organic"
      • Definition of "Natural"
      • Other Non-GMO Products
    • Size of the Non-GMO Market
      • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages, 2006-2015 (in billions of dollars)
    • Non-GMO Sales to Reach $265 Billion by 2017
      • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Non-GMO Foods and Beverages, 2012-2017 (in billions of dollars)
      • Several Factors Will Drive Non-GMO Growth
    • Greater Non-GMO Growth Possible
      • State-by-State Mandatory Labeling
      • Federal Mandatory Labeling
      • Federal Definition of Natural
      • Increased Consumer Interest in Non-GMO Labeling
      • GMO Disaster
    • Slower Non-GMO Growth Also Possible
      • Table Sales Projections for Non-GMO Foods and Beverages, 2017 (in billions of dollars)
  • Addresses of Selected Stakeholders
    • Suppliers and Marketers
    • Agencies, Associations, Organizations
  • GMO: Context and Issues
    • Key Points
    • What Are GMOs?
    • History and Development
      • GMOs a Continuation of Agricultural Development
      • Development of Genetic Theory
    • Spread of GMO Crops
      • GMO Crops in U.S.
      • Global Presence of GMO Crops
      • Africa May be Focus
      • Presence of GMO in U.S. Food Products
      • Presence of GMO in Global Food Products
      • Very Few Nations Grow GMO Crops
      • Growth Accelerating in Developing Nations
      • U.S. Remains Leading GMO Producer
      • Emphasis on Home Grown GMO
        • Table Global Area of GMO Crops in 2012 (in Millions of Hectares)
      • GMO Club Expanding
    • Heated Controversy Surrounds GMOs
      • Why the Controversy?
      • Current Controversies Date Back to First GMO Product
    • The Plus Side of GMOs
      • Creating More and Healthier Food
      • Healthier Environment
    • Potential Dangers of GMO
      • Limited Hard Evidence on Anti-GMO Side
      • Animal-Based Studies Raise Questions
      • Involvement of GMO Companies in Research
      • Countering the Anti-GMO Arguments
      • Refuting Pro-GMO Arguments
      • Rejection of Increased Crop Yield Position
      • Questioning Environmental Safety
      • Unwanted Spread of GMO Seeds
    • GMO Labeling: For and Against
      • GMO Labeling Widespread Around the World
        • Table Countries with No GMO Labeling Regulation, 2013
      • What Does GMO Labels Look Like?
        • Table Center for Food Safety Mandatory Labeling Breakout, 2013
      • The U.S. Campaign for Mandatory GMO Labeling
      • The Case Against GMO Labeling
      • The Cost Issue
      • Voluntary Non-GMO Labeling Echoes BST-Free Labeling
    • The Public Relations War
    • Political and Social Element to GMO Opposition
      • France: The Political Challenge to GMOs
    • The Bottom Line: Are GMOs Safe?
  • The Regulatory Environment
    • Key Points
    • Where GMOs Face Challenges
      • Bans Vary in Australia and New Zealand
      • Negatives Drive Marketers Out of Europe
    • Resistance to GMO Expansion Surprising
      • Role of World Trade Organization
    • The Path to Approval
      • Cartagena Protocol Helps Govern Process
      • European Union: Summary of EFSA Regulatory Process
      • EFSA's Assessment Process
      • The Italian Example
      • EU Process May Change
      • Some Other Examples of Regulatory Processes and Standards
      • Brazil's GMO Crop Approval Structure
      • Canadian GMO Regulatory Process
      • Japan's Regulatory Oversight
      • Japanese GMO and Non-GMO Food Labeling Policies
      • India's Food Safety and Standards Authority
  • The Stakeholders
    • Key Points
    • Stakeholder Represent Contrasting Points of View
    • Consumers
      • Anti-GMO Appears to Dominate Polls
      • How Question is Framed is Important
      • Resistance to GMOS May be Decreasing
      • Lack of Knowledge About GMOs Widespread
      • Consumers Swayed by Marketing Campaigns
      • Fear of the Unknown
    • GMO Opponents Are Active
      • Resistance Can Be Broad-Based
      • Mexican Resistance Both Broad-Based and Traditionalist
      • France: Activist and Broad-Based
      • Anger Focused on Monsanto
      • Social Media Used for More Protests
    • Farmers
      • Cross Contamination Concerns
      • Farmers Lead Resistance
      • Farmers Opt for Black Market GMOs
      • Financial Concerns
    • GMO Companies
      • BASF Plant Science (www.basf.com/group/corporate/en/products-andindustries/ biotechnology/plant-biotechnology/index)
      • Bayer CropScience (www.cropscience.bayer.com)
      • Dow Agrosciences (www.dowagro.com)
      • DuPont (www.dupont.com)
      • Monsanto (www.monsanto.com)
      • Syngenta (www.syngenta.com)
    • Food Companies
      • International Food Companies Pay to Play
      • Same Companies Go GMO-Free in Europe
      • Support for Non-GMO Food Labeling
      • Grocery Manufacturers Association Weighs In
    • Government and International Agencies
      • Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov)
      • European Commission (http://ec.europa.eu)
      • European Food Safety Authority (www.efsa.europa.eu)
      • Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being (http://rospotrebnadzor.ru/en/web/en)
      • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (www.fao.org)
      • Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov)
      • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (www.fssai.gov.in)
      • Food Standards Agency (www.food.gov.uk)
      • Food Standards Australia New Zealand (www.foodstandards.gov.au)
      • Ministry of Agriculture (http://english.agri.gov.cn)
      • Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (www.mhlw.go.jp/english)
      • National Biosafety Committee (www.ctnbio.gov.br)
      • United Nations Environment Programme (www.unep.org)
      • U.S. Agency for International Development (www.usaid.gov)
      • U.S. Department of Agriculture (www.usda.gov)
      • World Health Organization (www.who.int)
      • World Bank (www.worldbank.org)
      • World Trade Organization (www.wto.org)
    • Non-Governmental and Advocacy Organizations
      • Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (www.agra.org)
      • African Biodiversity Network (www.africanbiodiversity.org)
      • Center for Food Safety (www.centerforfoodsafety.org)
      • Cert ID Europe Ltd (www.cert-id.eu)
      • The Gaia Foundation (www.gaiafoundation.org)
      • Genetic Resources Action International (www.grain.org)
      • Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.org)
      • International Rice Research Institute (http://irri.org)
      • Just Label It! (http://justlabelit.org)
      • National Association for Genetic Safety (www.oagb.ru)
      • No! GMO Campaign (www.gmo-iranai.org)
      • Non-GMO Project (www.nongmoproject.org)
      • NSF International (www.nsf.org)
    • GMO-Related Trade and Industry Organizations
      • Biotechnology Industry Organization (www.bio.org)
      • Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (www.cgiar.org)
      • Council for Biotechnology Information (www.whybiotech.com)
      • CropLife International (www.croplife.org)
      • Genetic Literacy Project (www.geneticliteracyproject.org)
      • International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (www.isaaa.org)
  • The Retail Environment
    • Key Points
    • Supermarkets Go Non-GMO
      • Table GMO Policies of Selected Leading International Retail Grocery Chains
      • Non-GMO Private Label Lines Have History
      • UK Chicken Feed Controversy
      • Europeans Respond with Brussels Soy Declaration
        • Table Brussels Soy Declaration
  • Product Trends and Developments
    • Key Points
    • Definitions for Product Trends and Developments
    • Number of Product Rollouts Reaches a Five-Year High in 2013
      • Table Estimated Change in Number of Non-GMO Food and Beverage Introductions, 2009-2013, by Year (percent change)
    • Europe Accounts for 70% of Global Product Introductions; Russia the Top Marketer
      • Table Estimated Share of Non-GMO Food and Beverage Introductions, 2009-2013, by Region (percent share)
    • Eleven Key Product Categories
      • Dairycase
      • Condiments & Ingredients
      • Meals, Entrees, &Side Dishes
      • Salty Snacks
      • Meat & Meat Substitutes
      • Bakery
      • Snack Bars & Confectionery
      • Kids
      • Juice & Juice Drinks
      • Fruits & Vegetables
      • Breakfast
    • One in Five Non-GMO Food and Beverage Rollouts Are Dairycase Products
      • Table Estimated Share of Non-GMO Food and Beverage Introductions, 2009-2013, by Category and Rank, Global vs. U.S. (percent of new products)
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Dairycase Foods/Beverages and Selected New Products
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Condiments/Ingredients and Selected New Products
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Meals/Entrees/Side Dishes and Selected New Products
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Salty Snacks and Selected New Products
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Meat/Meat Substitutes and Selected New Products
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Bakery and Selected New Products
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Snack Bars/Confectionery and Selected New Products
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Kids' Foods/Beverages and Selected New Products
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Juice/Juice Drinks and Selected New Products
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Fruits/Vegetables and Selected New Products
    • Global Trends in Non-GMO Breakfast Food/Beverage and Selected New Products
  • Market Forecast
    • Key Points
    • Global Retail Non-GMO Food and Beverage Market at $400 Billion
      • Table Global Retail Sales of Non-GMO Foods and Beverages, 2012-2017 (in billions of U.S. dollars)
      • Some Sales Unmeasurable
      • Market Projected to Double by 2017
      • U.S. Share Will Decline
        • Table Global Retail Sales of Non-GMO Foods and Beverages, 2012-2017 (in billions of U.S. dollars)
      • Broad-Based Increases in Non-GMO Sales and Branding

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